Hello! I’m back. I’ve been sunning myself on the Balearic island of Majorca. It’s been absolutely wonderful. I’ve spent my days reading and relaxing by the pool, enjoying the food, wine and a few cocktails. I’m a few pounds heavier, but fully rested and recovered and looking forward to getting back to the blog.
In fact, I’m really excited about my running, writing and blogging projects. Really excited! There are lots of things to look forward to. I’ve often heard people say a holiday has re-charged their batteries, but until now I didn’t really appreciate what they meant. But now I do. After a short break in Cala Millor on the east coast of Majorca, I feel fully re-charged, operating at maximum energy levels, and ready to throw myself back into my work and hobbies.
This is great, but I’m also going to proceed with caution. If the holiday has made me realise one thing, it’s that a work life balance is called for.
Before I went away I was really struggling. It’s been two years since our last holiday abroad and those two years have been tough. Adjusting to life without my grandparents has been awful. I coped by running and racing and working, basically throwing myself into everything and taking on too much. For the past few years I’ve worked hard to get better at running, and I’ve also been establishing my freelance writing business. Work. Work. Work and more work. This is fine, but the danger is that my life was becoming nothing but work. When I wasn’t working or training, I fretted that I should be working or training. Work and racing was taking over my life.
I needed a break to restore the balance. When I boarded the plane I deliberately left my phone and laptop behind, but I did take my trainers. For Chris and me, running is always an important part of our holiday. We run first thing in the morning, then we can tuck into the buffet and relax feeling smug that the hard work is done for the day.
In between the cocktails, chocolate pancakes and ice cream, I did some really good sessions with Chris tagging along. If I hadn’t run I would certainly have required a wider seat for the plane journey home. There were also days when I didn’t run. Instead I walked, cycled or had a dip in the pool.
We arrived on Sunday afternoon. It had been a very early start, so early that we didn’t bother going to bed or running. We were so tired from the travelling that we didn’t run on Monday either. Instead we crashed by the pool. The first mistake was not getting up early enough to get a sunbed with an umbrella. The second mistake was not spreading the factor 50 evenly enough. This is what happened.
I spent the holiday with red patches of burned skin. This is a mistake I will never make again. In future I will bathe in factor 50.
By Tuesday I was burned but feeling a bit more energetic. I did a six-mile threshold run on the promenade from Sa Coma to Cala Bona and back. It’s a very popular route with runners of all nationalities. It was great. Later in the day I also got a personal best for the number of puddings I could eat in one go. Chris used to call me ‘Two-puddings Champion,’ but now it’s five.
On Wednesday we were up even earlier, watching the sun rise over the sea as we did an eight-mile tempo run. I then tucked into the chocolate pancakes.
Thursday was my 37th birthday so I didn’t run at all. Instead we hired some bikes and cycled down the coast to Porto Cristo.
When we arrived I felt every one of my 37 years. Cycling in hot conditions under a mid-day sun is probably not the most sensible idea I’ve ever had. The beers and burgers were worth it though.
In the evening we had a meal on the seafront, with a bottle. The hotel also surprised me with another bottle. Bottles in abundance!
On Friday we did a five-mile trail run to an old castle. We thought this would be an easy option, but the hill to the top of the castle was a bit of a killer. I did better than Chris, who really struggled. We were also celebrating our tenth anniversary. We plonked our backsides on one of the extra-comfy sun beds, drank another bottle and had a few cakes too.
Saturday we did a speed session on the seafront, a good blast but hard work in the heat. The minute the sun comes up, the heat was unbearable and I felt a bit dehydrated. That may have been the wine.
On our last morning we only had time for a steady three miles before our transfer to the airport. After the excess food and drink, it was certainly hard work.
On the flight home I was looking forward to a cup of tea and a Twirl. Unfortunately, we’d started our descent into Leeds Bradford by the time I was served. I was the last person to get a brew and they’d run out of Twirls. ‘You’ll have to have a Twix instead,’ the air hostess said.
‘I’ll have two,’ I replied. ‘I just need some chocolate.’
So I tucked into my chocolate only to discover that I’d got not one, but two chocolate birthday cakes waiting for me at home.
It’s been a fantastic week. We were only away for seven days, but it feels much longer. The holiday has made such a difference. Like I said, I’m feeling relaxed, energised and excited about things. Work is important. Running is important, but I’ve also realised it’s important to have a break from it all. I definitely won’t be leaving it as long before we have another holiday, but before then I’m re-charged and ready for some running.